Friday, February 29, 2008

Music to Battlestar Galactica

Fans of the current Battlestar Galactica series may be familiar with this song: It's Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower", score rearranged with an Indian accent (you may notice the sound of the sitar in the background) -- all set to a montage of frakking action. The song featured prominently in the closing two-parter episode of BSG Season 3, ("Crossroads, Parts 1 and 2").

BSG actually has one of the best soundtracks on a TV series ever. I am not ashamed to tell everyone that the ringtone on my mobile phone is the opening title to Battlestar Galactica -- which I just found out is actually the Gayatri Mantra. Go figure.

Soundtrack composers Bear McCreary and Richard Gibbs drew from various ethnic musical traditions to give BSG its ambience. My personal favourites are the Irish pipes and Irish Gaelic vocals that are usually used for the Adama scenes. The Irish pipes communicate the poignancy of loss, the sense of brotherhood in battle -- afterall, the story is about the surviving remnants of the human race fighting to avoid genocide; in the face of the inevitable, is the possibility of courage.

And I love the taiko drums on the soundtrack -- the way they build insistently to a crescendo for the fast action sequence of story. Those taiko drum scores never fails to stir me.

Season 4 of BSG will premiere this April. It will be the last season and the final Cyclon will be reveal.

As I wait for the new season, and the DVD release of Season 3 -- here is one of the better fan video that highlights some of the best parts of Battlestar Galactica so far.


Chris said...

That "watchtower" is awesome. It's going on my mp3 player. When I first heard this on BSG, it was a little jarring, out-of-place, something. But after just a few seconds, it seemed perfect.

I can't believe this is the last season :-(

woyo chris

darkorpheus said...

WoYo Chris I'm a little disappointed it's the last season too. But Season 3 showed signs of fatigue after the humans left New Caprica. So maybe it's better that they end with a big bang -- tying up all the loose ends with dramatic revelations and stuff.

I heard Lucy Lawless is coming back for Season 4, so I'm thrilled.

I would hate for BSG to end up like Babylon 5, which lost steam towards the end because it didn't quite know how to end. I love Babylon 5, but there were a lot of things after Season 3 that was unforgivable.

I love my sci-fi tv shows. :)

Chris said...

So, who is the last Cylon?

Is it Baltar? -- too obvious, plus the freak really wants to be one.

Is it Kara? -- too ... something.

Is it Adama? -- Hmmmmmmm.

woyo chris

darkorpheus said...

WoYo Chris I personally think Adama would be the most logical choice for the final Cyclon -- but it would be a cop-out. Too easy, too predictable.

Roslin perhaps?

I doubt it's Starbuck. There's also this little questionable statement made about Starbuck in BSG: Razor: The cyclon in the tub made this prophecy about Kara Thrace - Beware Kara Thrace. She will lead the humans to destruction. Or something like that.

Chris said...

Adama a cop-out? Well, I see where you are coming from. It does feel a little too easy.

Please not Laura!!! She's my favorite character. Plus, she has cancer ... and half-Cylon baby blood cured her (for a while). So can she be a Cylon?

I know, it's Lee! Come on, he's like this perfect little robot dude anyway, and he'll fit right in with Six and the rest of the beautiful people.

What tragedy ... the heir apparent as the villain. Think of all the emotionally wrenching facial expressions from Adama that would result.

But in the end, Adama would forgive and accept ... once Lee and Kara finally get down to it and give Adama the hybrid grandchild with his wife's eyes that he couldn't possibly reject.

Humans and Cylons, united through a marriage of royalty, striding off arm in arm into promising new future.

I think I'm going to cry. Or gag. One of those ...

woyo chris

darkorpheus said...

WoYo Chris I'm trying not to take the rumours too seriously, but there was an interview with Katee Sakhoff where she said she heard something -- and she felt it would be a betrayal if it was true.

So, maybe Adama.

Lee? He's too obvious. Actually, I think he's too bland to be a Cyclon. He's like Major Cardboard.

Anonymous said...

wow, the music really complements the imagery very well! very cool!

i'm a big fan of "all along the watchtower". hendrix's version of it is probably one of my favourite songs. dave matthews also did a really interesting version of it at woodstock 98 (i think?).

darkorpheus said...

JP I know that a lot of people really love the Hendrik version -- so sometimes people actually believe it's Hendrik's song. Imagine that - when the guy who covers your song ends up being more famous for it.

Dave Matthews covered it too? Didn't know that. Thanks.